Tulo, Rockies Top Mariners 4-1 Wednesday Afternoon

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62. Final. 4. 108. 1

The Seattle Mariners (4-5) lost to the Colorado Rockies (4-3-2) for the second consecutive day on Wednesday afternoon in Peoria, AZ. The Rockies won 4-1 on a beautiful afternoon at the Peoria Sports Complex. Adam Ottavino (1-0, 0.00 ERA) picked up the win on Wednesday. Lucas Luetge (0-1, 9.00 ERA) was credited with the loss after surrendering three runs in the final frame. Jairo Diaz shut the door on the M’s in the ninth to earn his first save of the spring.

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Erasmo Ramirez got the start for the Mariners this afternoon. Ramirez got off to a rocky start on Wednesday, but finished the day allowing 1 run on 2 hits across 3 innings pitched. Ramirez struck out two hitters, and did not issue any walks today against the Rockies.

Troy Tulowitzki muscled up on a 2-0 fastball, sending it over the right center field fence in the first inning of today’s game. The Rockies shortstop is considered one of the premier power hitters in the game, and he showed why today. Tulo’s opposite field dinger cleared the fence with ease, and gave the Rockies an early 1-0 lead.

Kyle Seager knotted the game at 1 in the third inning this afternoon. Seager took Rockies’ starter Charlie Bergman deep to right field for his first home run of the spring. Seager hit a career high 25 long balls in 2014, and was a big reason the M’s were competing for a playoff spot in game 162. The Mariners are banking on another great season from Seags in 2015, and today’s homer is a very encouraging sign. The Mariners entered the fourth inning tied at 1 with the Rockies.

Fernando Rodney made his second appearance of the spring for the Mariners on Wednesday afternoon in Peoria. Rodney recorded a league high 48 saves last season, but fans suffering from a heart condition were advised not to watch him pitch. The 37-year-old issued two walks today, but managed to keep the Rockies out of the run column. Rodney appeared to be very happy with his performance, as he saluted the crowd with his customary celebration following the final out. Rodney consistently allowed the tying run to get into scoring position last season, but he always came through when it mattered most. Hopefully, that trend continues in 2015.

The Mariners figure to rely heavily on their vaunted bullpen again this season, and today the M’s got great performances from two of their regulars. Tom Wilhelmsen went 3-2 and registered a 2.27 ERA across 79.1 innings in 2014. The Bartender pitched a perfect sixth inning in today’s game. Wilhelmsen looked great this afternoon, consistently hitting the mid-90’s with his fastball. Charlie Furbush is the top southpaw down in the Mariners’ ‘pen. Furbush was excellent last season, and he pitched a perfect eighth inning this afternoon.

The Mariners nearly pulled ahead in the bottom of the eighth after Stefen Romero led off the frame with a triple. Unfortunately, the M’s were unable to capitalize, and the score remained tied at 1 heading to the ninth inning.

Lefty Lucas Luetge was called upon to pitch the final inning for the Mariners. Luetge induced an easy ground ball to second baseman Shawn O’Malley to start the ninth, but O’Malley’s throw was wild, allowing the batter to reach. Following a sacrifice bunt, Ryan Casteel gave the Rockies the lead on a double to center field. Colorado added two more runs in the inning to give them a three run lead.

The entire box score can be found here.

What Stood Out:

Erasmo Ramirez Stays Alive in Hunt for Rotation Spot

I wrote earlier in the day about the importance of this start for Erasmo Ramirez. Despite allowing an early home run, Ramirez pitched reasonably well this afternoon. While he was far from perfect, he did a much better job locating his pitches. He has had trouble with pitch counts throughout his career, but today he was very economical. The 24-year-old right-hander only needed 40 pitches to retire 9 hitters on Wednesday. Ramirez has the talent to be a big leaguer, but he has to overcome the mental lapses that have plagued the first three years of his career.

Danny Hultzen Appears in First Game Since September 2013

When the Mariners selected Danny Hultzen with the number two overall selection out of the University of Virginia in the 2011 draft, the expectation was that he would be on the fast track to the big leagues. Hultzen was a highly touted lefty, who was thought to have top of the rotation potential. However, after undergoing shoulder surgery following an injury riddled 2013 season with the Tacoma Rainiers, his future with the organization was murky at best.

Danny Hultzen is fully recovered, and he made his first appearance of the spring on Wednesday afternoon in Peoria. The 25-year-old held his own, blanking the Rockies in his only inning of work. He walked the first hitter he faced, but recovered nicely. His heater still has plenty of zip, registering between 93-95 mph today. Hultzen may not be a candidate for the Mariners’ rotation in 2015, but a strong spring could make him a player to watch in the battle for the second southpaw in the M’s bullpen.

Looking Ahead:

The Seattle Mariners will head over to Mesa, AZ on Thursday afternoon to battle their AL West rival Oakland Athletics. First pitch is set for 12:00 PST at HoHoKam Stadium. Youngster Jordan Pries will toe the rubber for the second time this spring in a Mariners’ uniform. Veteran southpaw Scott Kazmir will get the ball for the A’s on Thursday afternoon. Tomorrow’s game can be heard on 710 ESPN, although the broadcast will be delayed. On a side note, reports indicate comedian Will Ferrell will be playing for both teams during the game.

Next: Seattle Mariners Narrowing Candidates for Final Rotation Spot

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